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    A Selection of Studios

    Phillip Crosby Sep 7 '08 1

    As a PhD student I don’t get to take a studio, but I thought that some of you might be interested in hearing about some of the studios on offer at UPenn this semester. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but these are the syllabi that I’ve been able to snag throughout the past week.

    Graduate Architecture Studios:

    ARCH 601 - BIOME-Riverview: Novel Housing Prototypes along the Delaware River
    Critic: Ferda Kolatan
    Visual Studies Instructor: James Kerestes

    Program: “A 100,000SF housing complex with integrated parking, gymnasium and other leisure facilities. An emphasis will be placed on the site’s immediate adjacency to the river’s edge and how the geographical characteristics of this place can inform new visions for an ecologically responsible approach towards an innovative, contemporary design...The students will be encouraged to develop novel live/work/leisure relationships within the building, which respond to our current and future lifestyles rather than working with conventional housing templates.”
    Site: “Riverfront properties are of particular interest in this context since they were commonly accommodated as industrial and transportation sites providing no or limited access for private users. Yet these properties naturally provide a number of unique qualities, which offer great opportunities for housing and leisure programs...Our focus will be on a site in northeast Philadelphia located at the Delaware River just south of N. Beach St. between Susquehanna St. and Dyoff St.”

    ARCH 601 - Live/Work/Eat: Urban Dwelling and the Global Food Supply Network
    Critic: Phu Hoang
    Visual Studies Instructor: Paul Coughlin

    Program: “The studio will radically integrate two programs--urban dwelling with a global food supply program. There will be a mixture of rental apartment housing as well as an apartment-hotel...Each student will also integrate a program component from the global food supply network into their apartment/apart-hotel hybrid. The food program components chosen can exist anywhere within the global food supply network--from growing, producing, packaging, marketing, purchasing, and finally the disposal of food. The programs can range from urban farms to public markets to on-line food distribution systems. The food supply program will be chosen based on its possibilities for a radical new prototype of urban dwelling.”
    Site: “The studio will establish an understanding of site that encompasses both physical and virtual sites--in other words, both local and global sites...The intention of the studio will be to design an urban dwelling prototype that would be adjusted, critiqued and deployed in multiple global sites...The studio’s physical site is in Philadelphia located adjacent to the Delaware River. The site is between the river and N. Columbus Blvd. and south of Penn Treaty Park.”

    ARCH 701 - Adaptive Urban Development
    Critic: Matthias Hollwich

    Summary: “The Adapt! studio envisions a new way of life in a radically changing world. The studio will be based on programmatic research, sociological considerations, ecological findings, futuristic consideration, and real market economical objectives. Like the industry redefining Toyota Prius, we will design a product for today’s market that is calibrated to the needs of the future. The studio focuses on a large scale multi-use development in a prototypically blighted semi-urban area of New Jersey. The site is located in Jersey City, on top of a New Jersey PATH/New Jersey Transit transportation hub, 15 minutes away from Manhattan...The studio’s products will not be idle speculations on the future. Together we will discover the way Americans will live in the future...The studio will be organized into six teams that will focus on specific future solutions for the site in 5, 10, 15, 30, 60 and 100 years from now.”

    Graduate Landscape Architecture Studios:

    LARP 701 - Nordhavn: Northern Harbor, Copenhagen, Denmark
    Critics: James Corner & Richard Kennedy

    Summary: “Nordhavn is the northern port and harbor of Copenhagen, Denmark. This 200-hectare site is presently the site of a major international design competition for a new urban center with 4 million SM of new housing, commercial and cultural facilities, as well as significant open space, all coordinated around the theme of ‘the sustainable city of the future.’ The studio will focus upon the development of a new plan for the transformation of the harbor into a new urban center, with a mix of building types and programs organized around a significant public open space framework.”

    LARP 701 - Supernatural: Madrid 2016
    Critic: Karen M’Closkey

    Summary: “Success in sports is often measured by breaking records: bigger, faster, and stronger. The same is true for cities that compete for the games. The Olympics are given to cities that can demonstrate their ability to participate on the international stage and the ante is raised for each subsequent Games. Madrid, our host city, is the third largest city in Europe and one of four finalists competing for the 2016 Olympics...Supernatural assumes the problematic of fast-paced development, temporary occupancy, and limited resources. Supernatural is spectacle and endurance, event and enhancement: landscapes on dope. The questions for the studio are: how might we find productive gaps for landscape within the logic of the Olympic Master Plan? What does the urgency of the Olympics demand from landscape, and what can landscape demand from the Olympics? Is it possible for landscape to become the image of the games? How might a landscape explicitly combine the ‘photo op’ and the far-reaching, the logo and the long term? What kind of hybrids--bred to be better equipped for survival--might the Olympic program produce? Though we will accept the site location proposed by the Madrid Olympics Committee, we will reconsider the master plan that was part of their packet. The site itself is a challenge: it is an ‘island’ ringed by freeways and peripheral to the city center, though it is accessible by subway/metro.”

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    I'm really looking forward to seeing the projects that come out of some of these studios. Just reading the briefs makes me wish that I was still an M.Arch. student. Hopefully later in the semester I'll at least be able to live a bit vicariously as a guest critic. I'm really interested in Olympic urbanism, so hopefully I can figure out a way to get invited to a jury by Karen M'Closkey.

     

     
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